A few days back, we had a little fun with Dr. Michael Brown, who was bellyaching about the fact that he wrote a 700 page book on how much he hates gay people [he calls it "love," but we're all about accuracy here], but nobody cared. Indeed, publishers wouldn’t even touch it, probably because it was boring. If I were in the mood to read 700 pages of blah blah blah, discredited “research,” fundamentalist bigotry euphemized as “Christian love,” I would review it for you. I, however, would rather pick up sticks in the backyard and poke myself with them repeatedly. As you know, I’d probably snark it up, do a little skewering, etc.
Fortunately, Kathy Baldock has done the painful work of reading and reviewing it, and it’s funny. Kathy takes a very different approach to things from me, but she reaches basically the same conclusions. Kathy is a deeply committed Christian, and as she goes, chapter by chapter, through the book, she keeps looking for genuine love from this man, but can only go so far as to find that he thinks he loves people.
Most egregious is the chapter where he starts by saying he’s not equating homosexuality with pedophilia, but then, according to Kathy, spends a good forty pages talking about pedophiles. At times like these, it’s useful to remember that Michael Brown and his ideological cohorts know their audience. They know how to blow dogwhistles that will send anti-gay wingnuts clutching their misunderstood Bibles in fear of The Gays. Here’s Kathy’s summary of that section:
The chapter starts with : “MICHAEL BROWN IS NOT EQUATING HOMOSEXUAL PRACTICE WITH PEDOPHILIA. MICHAEL BROWN IS NOT CALLING ALL HOMOSEXUALS PEDOPHILES”
However, the next FORTY pages are about pedophilia. So repulsive, it amazed me that Dr. Brown would include it. Why does he say he included it then? Pedophiles say they are born that way and the slippery slope to including homosexuals with equal status will open the doors to pedophiles wanting equality and acceptance too.
This section made me angry. Just because you say “I am not saying this . . . ” and then publish FORTY pages of trash in the midst of a book on the dangers/damage of/by homosexuals does not negate the impact of the natural association that people will make to homosexuality. This is one of the most disgusting ploys, intentional or not, of the entire book. Dr. Brown could have stated his concerns in one paragraph, yet, I was subjected to reading the NAMBLA boy-love trash???
How many already anti-gay readers will duct tape the whole yucky mess onto the GLBT community? How many potential GLBT readers will you thoroughly offend by this most egregious, don’t-think-about-the-pink-elephant tactic? So offensive and incredibly subtly manipulative. Completely gratuitous porn. No wonder no publisher would touch this manuscript. This may have been one of the two major disqualifiers from options other than self publish.
Yes, I know: “MICHAEL BROWN IS NOT EQUATING HOMOSEXUAL PRACTICE WITH PEDOPHILIA. MICHAEL BROWN IS NOT CALLING ALL HOMOSEXUALS PEDOPHILES” but, what will your readers hear? What will they remember? Horrid. You should have left it unspeakable.
This is classic Michael Brown, though. He’s probably one of the most vitriolic anti-gay voices out there, but he’s been taught [brainwashed] to believe that if he “reaches out” wanting “dialogue,” and is moreover “polite” about it, then he is blameless for spewing unrepentantly incorrect anti-gay bullshit to his drooling readers, because he was “nice.” This is a fundamental difference between religious conservative wingnuts and reality-based dwellers. THEY are obsessed with tone. WE are obsessed with truth, and some of us do it in a nice way, others hurl F-bombs, and everything in between, but at the end of the day, what matters is what is actually, verifably correct. Michael Brown, on the other hand, sweetly insinuates that homosexuality and pedophilia are inextricably linked [something EVERY grown-up real-life study on the subject has shown to be false] by writing a million words about it in a book that’s supposed to be about gay people. What a troll.
Elsewhere, he devotes a chapter to the consumer fraud known as the “ex-gay” industrial complex, citing sources like NARTH [RentBoy say what?] and the gay-obsessed shame of the Presbyterian church, Rob Gagnon. According to Kathy, though, that sort of takes second billing to his whiny recounting of all the times Wayne Besen has been mean to him over the years. [Why you so mean to Michael Brown, Wayne?] Here’s Kathy’s section on “ex-gay”ness in Brown’s book:
It is a fact that the ex-gay movement does exist. It is a fact that some people find reconciliation of faith and sexuality in these groups. It is a fact that some people do get heterosexually married or remain celibate for the rest of their lives.
It is fiction however, that people change their orientation. When I see the footnotes and quotes citing Nicolosi, NARTH and Gagnon, I know Dr. Brown has gone to the extremes for his research. Even Alan Chambers of Exodus would have told Dr. Brown that no one can change their orientation and Alan Chambers is supposed to be the Christian church world expert. Anything out of NARTH as a resource? Rent Boy ring a bell? Please Dr. Brown, call Michael Bussee and talk to him. One of Exodus originals. Ask him why he got discouraged by the lies of those around him. Or Darlene Bogle, one of the Exodus speakers, leaders, author of two or their books, counselor for fifteen years. She lives with her wife in San Jose. Or John Smid who ran Love in Action, a residence program for reparative therapy for twenty two years.
Dr. Brown instead focuses on Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out, gay activist extraordinaire and recounts the tiffs he and Wayne have had.
Well, if you know you’ve got no argument, might as well try to paint the experts in a bad light. Or maybe Brown just has a crush on Wayne.
Anyway, that’s just two of the chapters of this, again, SEVEN HUNDRED PAGE BOOK on how gays are icky. Go read the rest of Kathy’s review to see what else she found.